Ogbonnaya Ikokwu, Umuahia
A 35-year-old man identified as Nkemakolam Ugorji, and his wife, Happiness, have confessed that economic hardship made them to sell their two-day-old baby girl.
Ugorji and Happiness said they had been married for seven years and already had four, adding that they could not care for the fifth baby and therefore decided to give away the baby to foster parents.
Happiness said, “My husband and I decided to sell our baby because of hardship. We have four children and my husband is not working. When I was pregnant, there was no money for me to go for antenatal and feeding was even a problem for us. That was why we decided to sell our baby.”
She added that it was the nurse who delivered her of the baby that connected them to the lady who helped them to sell the baby for the sum of N300,000.
On his own, Ugorji, who claimed to be an orphan, said since he relocated from Port Harcourt to his village, he had been jobless.
He added that he agreed with his wife to sell his baby to raise money for his family.
He said, “I was riding a tricycle on hire/purchase in Port Harcourt, but when I could not meet up with the payment, the owner collected it from me. So, we relocated to my village in Isiala Ngwa and since then, I have not got any other job and I have nobody to help us because I am an orphan.
“It was my village people who informed the police that I sold my baby because I couldn’t give them a proper account of my baby when they discovered that my wife was not pregnant again.”
Their accomplice in the crime identified as Nma said the couple had approached her to help them adopt the baby to a foster parent who could take care of the baby.
Nma said she invited one pastor who had lived with his wife for 28 years without any child to adopt the baby and the pastor adopted the baby for N300, 000.
Known for child trafficking in the state, Nma denied benefitting anything from the money given to the couple, adding that the pastor gave the money to Ugorji and his wife.
The Commissioner of Police in the State, Mr. Anthony Ogbizi, has confirmed the incident.
He warned anybody who wanted to adopt children in the state to follow due process and avoid going through illegal means.
The CP added that investigation aimed at fishing out the buyers of the baby was ongoing.
He urged members of the public to always report any suspected movement in their area to the police, pointing out that policing is everyone’s business in the state.
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